The transfer of environmentally sound technologies is crucial to
sustainable development. If decision-makers do not dispose of relevant knowledge
and only have insufficient access to information on technologies, they will tend
to resort to options detrimental to the environment.
This state of affairs, which above all prevails in developing
and newly industrialising countries, has a serious impact on international moves
to protect the global environment. And at national level, it poses a threat to
sustainability of development efforts.
South East Asia is in a special situation in this respect. While
rapid industrial development in the tiger economies has not been accompanied by
an across-the-board attempt to tackle ecological issues, there are a number of
initiatives al local and regional level that promise to act as motors of
environmental awareness by providing the all-essential ingredient of
RISE-AT, based at Chiang-Mai University in northern Thailand,
focuses on appropriate technology in five main areas. With its Q &A service
and its new documentation centre, RISE-AT bids fair to become a regional
development factor. ATA and CORE are two further organisations working in this
context. TIS, another Thai organisation, provides regular information services
on renewable energy the environment and biotechnology to over 100 countries. And
in the Philippines, SIBAT is performing the role of a counter-balance to an
official agricultural policy bent on intensified cash crop cultivation. There
are other examples in the region.